Fire up the grill for this exotic flavored spicy Thai chicken recipe. This Thai BBQ Chicken is juicy chicken breasts that are rubbed with a special seasoning mix, cooked on the grill, and served up with a quick and easy spicy sauce. It's easy to prep ahead so all you have to do at dinner is grill the meat and eat, which means it’s perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or an easy bbq meal on the patio in the summer months.
The flavors of Thai food are particularly unique. Thai cuisine has amazing flavor, a little bit sweet, savory and spicy all at the same time. This recipe was inspired by my Thai seasoning blend with the flavors of turmeric, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper which makes a great rub for chicken.
Turn it into a spicy Thai chicken salad by serving the chicken over a bed of lettuce, mandarin oranges, and my homemade Ginger Dressing, for a light and delicious dinner. Or serve it up with this easy Instant Pot Coconut Rice.
If you like the flavors in this spicy chicken recipe, you might also enjoy cooking with Thai 7 spice, another seasoning with Thai flavors that is a great way to season stir fry dishes, noodles, and meats or seafood.
😊 Why This Recipe Works
- If you enjoy Thai chicken recipes for dinner this easy main dish recipe is perfect with a hint of spicy flavors to spice up your weeknight dinners.
- A great addition to your regular rotation of meals that can be served in a variety of ways such as with a simple stir fry dish, over a salad, or with white rice, jasmine rice or stir fry noodles.
- If you like spicy food, this is a great recipe to explore cooking with Thai flavors and create simple meals.
- A delightful chicken recipe with bold flavors that's sure to be a new family favorite.
- Chicken Thai food can be really spicy or mild. You choose the spice level.
🛒 Ingredient notes
This Spicy Thai chicken recipe is a simple recipe made with a short list of ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store, order online, or take a quick trip to the local Asian market.
- Chicken breast: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts for a healthy chicken dinner and save some time.
- Thai Seasoning: This blend of spices is rubbed into the chicken giving it lots of flavor.
- Honey: Just a touch for a little sweetness to balance the other flavors in the sauce.
- Coconut aminos: A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce but you can use regular soy sauce or tamari if you prefer.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic gives this simple sauce the best flavor.
- Fish sauce: A common ingredient or condiment used in Thai recipes that you can find at your local Asian market if the grocery store doesn’t have it.
- Ginger: There is no substitute for fresh ginger so grab a small piece in the store.
- Lime juice: Only use fresh lime juice, not the kind in a green bottle.
- Unsweetened coconut: Be sure to choose unsweetened coconut for the perfect coconut flavor that isn’t overly sweet.
- Sriracha sauce: This spicy condiment is available in the grocery store and you can add more or less for the level of spice you prefer.
- Red chili flakes: Add more or less depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be.
See the recipe card for a complete list and quantities.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Here’s a preview of how to make this spicy BBQ Thai chicken recipe. For the full instructions, see the recipe card towards the bottom of the page.
- Preheat your grill to medium heat. Rub the Thai seasoning on both sides of the chicken breast, coating well. I use latex gloves so my hands do not get stained by the seasoning.
2. When the grill is hot, place the chicken down and cook for 5 minutes on one side or until the chicken starts to brown. Then, flip the chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes.
The chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees. If it is not up to temperature yet allow the chicken to cook a few more minutes, and then check again. Be sure not to overcook, this could dry out your meat.
3. While the chicken is cooking, you can make the spicy Thai chicken sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small saucepan and stir to combine all the ingredients.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, lower the temperature to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, and then remove from heat.
When you’re ready to serve pour the warm sauce over the cooked chicken and garnish with a sprinkle of unsweetened coconut.
⭐ Hint: The best way to check the temperature of the chicken to make sure it’s done is using a digital instant-read thermometer.
Here are a few substitutions you can use to make when making this recipe:
- Chicken breast: Swap out the chicken breasts with chicken thighs, chicken wings, or even pork or beef.
- Honey: Swap it out with any type of liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, monk fruit sweetener or agave syrup. These may taste slightly different but since you are just using a touch, it should affect the overall taste of the dish.
- Sriracha: If you don’t have this ingredient you can use sambal oelek or another simple hot sauce.
Looking for some ways to change up making this spicy Thai chicken recipe? Here's some of my favorite ideas:
- Thai sweet basil: Sprinkle a touch of julienned Thai basil or regular fresh basil over the top of the finished chicken to make a spicy Thai basil chicken.
- Seafood: Make this recipe with your favorite fish fillet or shrimp.
- Thai Hot Chicken: Kick up the heat in your honey-based sauce by adding double or triple the chili flakes and Sriracha sauce.
💭 Tips for making the recipe
If you like your Thai BBQ Chicken Recipe with a lot of sauce then double the recipe sauce portion. Serve in a small bowl for dipping and drizzling.
Use disposable latex gloves to rub the seasoning onto the chicken as the turmeric in the seasoning will stain your hands a pretty shade of yellow if you don't have gloves on.
Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the chicken after cooking for 10 minutes and regularly after that point so you don’t overcook the chicken.
The trick to getting nice grill marks on your chicken is to let the chicken cook on each side without moving it.
The grill does add flavors that you won’t get cooking with other methods and it’s also a great way to cook oil-free, but if you need an alternative here’s some ideas.
Use a cast iron indoor grill pan that works on the stovetop but still will give the chicken beautiful grill marks.
Cook in a large skillet over medium heat with just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
For both methods, use the same timing for cooking as you do for the grill. Make sure to preheat the pan so you're adding the chicken to a hot skillet or grill pan.
This easy meal can be made ahead with just a little prep work. Make sure you have all the ingredients to make the chicken ready to go and then go ahead and make the sauce ahead of time. When you're ready to prepare dinner, get the chicken cooking, and then reheat the sauce over low heat before serving it over the top of the chicken.
More Easy Recipes for Dinner
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Spicy Thai Chicken Recipe
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice only use fresh lime juice, not the kind in a green bottle
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha if you like is spicy add more
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes If you like it spicy add more
- Preheat your grill to medium heat
- Rub Thai seasoning on chicken breast, coating well. I use latex gloves so my hands do not get stained by the seasoning.
- Place chicken on the hot grill. Cook for 5 minutes on one side or until the chicken starts to brown.
- Flip chicken over and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Next, check the internal temperate. of the chicken. To safely grill chicken the internal temperature should be 165 degrees. If it is not up to temp, move allow to cook a few more minutes, and then check again. Be sure not to overcook, this could dry out your meat.
- While the chicken is cooking, place all sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the temperature to simmer as soon as it starts to boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
- Pour warm sauce over the chicken just before serving. Garnish with unsweetend coconut.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in 2016, but was republished with new photos, step-by-step instructions, and tips, in January 2022.